Besides picture-perfect scenery and live-like-a-royal prices, Bali is often described as a spiritual refuge for foreigners in need of a break from the demands of modern life. But before you pack your bags, here are some quirky yet practical facts about Bali that may alter your perception of this Indonesian island “paradise”*.
*Not that Bali isn’t a beautiful destination; I just can’t stand cliches and hyperbole and must quarantine them in air quotes.
1. Nusa Dua’s beaches used to be swamps
Nusa Dua in southern Bali is a playground for the rich, with five-star resorts lining silver beaches and bright azure waters. It’s hard to imagine this area once used to be a mangrove swamp – in fact, there are still some wetland mangroves along parts of Nusa Dua and, if you read enough reviews of hotels in the area, guests sometimes complain that the beaches feel more like swamps when the tide recedes.
NUSA DUA IS GREAT FOR A PAMPERING VACATION, THOUGH.
Although Nusa Dua’s ecosystem has been altered by the building of these gilded tourist traps, it’s proof that Bali’s problem of beach trash pollution can be improved…if we’re determined enough to make it happen.
What to make of this: If you’re going to discover all that Bali has to offer, it’s unlikely you’ll remain in Nusa Dua anyway. Besides the usual spots like Seminyak, Canggu, and Ubud, I highly recommend you venture to the Bedugul area in North Bali.